Tuesday, July 18, 2017

It's so sad!

In recent days the NF attended a family wedding here in the Holyland. The kallah, a cousin of Mrs. NF, was marrying a son of a rather well known Hesder (National Religious) Rosh Yeshiva. While the bride and groom were your typical, run of the mill, national religious couple,  the greater family of the groom (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings) was rather religiously intense/chardal.

One former co-worker used to refer to such people as Tzurels (צורל ) -
צדיק ורע לו
 or "Righteous and everything is terrible in life" meaning a pained or constipated look is always required.  I'm not a very judgmental person (ok, I am) so I just assumed the entire family needs a bit more fibre in its diet.

Anyway,  a yeshivish (dati leumi of course) looking family member was called up for the 7th Sheva Bracha ---- he proceeded to enunciate every word in a kvetchy, pained and sad voice all while shuckling like the (proverbial) Rebbe. The NF would like to assume that this heavily bearded, huge Kipa wearing dude (he was even wearing a suit!) was aware of the words he was saying:

" אשר ברא ששון ושמחה חתן וכלה, גילה רינה דיצה וחדוה אהבה ואחוה ושלום ורעות"

So in that phrase alone we have 10 words that reference sad concepts such as happiness, love and peace. Since when did religious intensity/seriousness get replaced with sorrow?

So this past Friday night, we make our way to shul and lo and behold Mr Spirituality is asked to lead Kabbalat Shabbat. Mr Spirituality spent 5+ years in a hesder yeshiva, holds a PhD in Jewish Thought and is currently a professor at a major Israeli University so I can only assume he understands basic Hebrew. Mr. Spirituality slowly made his way to the shulchan draped the talit over his head, shuckled a few hundred times (like the rebbe), closed his eyes like he had just seen his Grandma naked and said the joyful words 

 'לכו נרננה לה

....while sounding like his best friend had just died!

The NF sighed heavily, gonged to himself and started reviewing the parsha.


Michael Sedley said...

Come on, you know that the only time us Ashkenazim sing happy tunes are things like "Vidoy" or the Al Chets. (Aiy Aiy Aiy Ashamnu, Bagadnu .....)

Ashkenazim (excluding Na Na Chassidim) are only really happy when we're beating ourselves up.

The NF said...

I am not referring to songs in a minor key - Almost all Ashkenazi music (non-Yekke at least) is in minor (D minor to be exact). I am talking about the pained look and kvetchy sound you find in certain "spiritual" circles.